- Free gifts. Free gifts are a great way to encourage those few extra bids for your auctions, as well as a great way to bring old customers back again and again. Sometimes the gifts can be inexpensive items related to what you are selling—a free laptop sleeve with every laptop sold or a free air freshener with every set of car seat covers sold, or similar “value add” sorts of merchandise. Some sellers, however, absolutely have fun with free gifts, and their buyers love getting bags of jellybeans or silly bumper stickers with each purchase. Feature your free gift in item listings after the main part of the listing, as an additional item that adds value to the purchase.
- Play games with your customers. If you post many listings every day, use them to your advantage by creating listing games. For example, include an additional piece of information in your listings—a photo or photo background in a specific location, or a quote from someone prominent that is related in some way to the types of items that you sell—and offer a free gift or a discount to anyone that can identify the location, the quote's author, or similar.
- Offer tips, advice, or quotes in your listings. If you're knowledgeable about the types of items that you sell or have access to good snippets of information about them, include a “tip of the week” or “quote of the week” or similar type of beneficial information in your listings to help your customers to use the items you're selling. List famous people who use the item or prefer the same item color, or include some other type of information that entertains as well as entices.
- Offer repeat-buyer discounts and other promotional coupons. Using a third-party intermediary such as Tradecoupon or Coupio, create custom coupon codes and offer them to your buyers as motivational discounts for repeat business. Send coupons as a printout in the box with every item, so that all of your buyers receive them and can use them on subsequent purchases.
- Send a regular newsletter to your buyers. Encourage your buyers to sign up for a weekly newsletter that lists your current items and promotions, offers discount coupons, or includes tips and useful information for buyers interested in the type(s) of items you sell. Provide information on where to obtain accessories or related items, along with encouragement to return and buy again.
While techniques like these are simple, they are also time-tested and proven in retail selling in general, and you'll find that they work just as well in the ecommerce world to help you to bring in those extra couple of bidders for each auction listing.